December is a wonderful month and it’s easy to get caught up in the magic at this time of year. Here are some practical precautionary measures you can take to stay safe and reduce any unforeseen risks.


It’s widely reported that the risk of burglary tends to increase during the Christmas season. One factor is the higher number of homes left empty as people travel to visit family or go on holiday. Empty houses become attractive targets for burglars seeking to exploit the absence of occupants. Additionally, the display of decorations and the accumulation of gifts in homes can attract the attention of potential thieves, making empty properties more enticing targets, along with darker nights making it easier for burglars to operate discreetly. Consider adding deadbolt locks for added security and use timers for indoor and outdoor lights to create the illusion of an occupied home, especially if you’re away for an extended period. This can discourage potential burglars.

Inform a trusted neighbour if you are going away

If you are planning to go away this Christmas, it’s worth asking a neighbour or friend you trust to keep an eye on your home while it’s empty. Ask them to move your post and parcels as well as opening and closing curtains.

Be cautious with social media use

Avoid advertising your absence on social media, sharing travel plans or broadcasting that your home will be empty. It’s easy to get excited about going away but you don’t know who might be watching!

Secure valuables and keep Christmas presents and other valuables out of sight

Burglars know that there are more possessions in homes at this time of year, so keep gifts in a discreet place. Consider using a safe to store important documents and high-value items. It’s important to ensure that all valuables are covered by the correct level of insurance. Some insurers automatically increase your sum insured around Christmas to accommodate extra items you may have in your home. Levels of additional cover over the Christmas period will vary from one insurer to the next and can have all sorts of conditions attached, so you should read your policy documents carefully.

Keep an eye out for parcel deliveries

There will always be opportunists who steal from doorsteps but they will be working in full force at this time of year!

Dispose of packaging discreetly

Avoid leaving boxes with packaging for expensive items visible. After opening gifts, break down packaging and place it discreetly in bins.

Christmas trees

Turn off and unplug all Christmas tree lights overnight, or when you leave your property, as they could start a fire – remember to also check your tree lights for electrical safety. They should be labelled as tested and have no frayed wires or loose connections. Your tree should be placed away from fireplaces, radiators, heater vents, TV sets, exits and any escape routes. Also ensure you have a sturdy base to prevent the tree falling over.


Keep candles away from flammable materials and never leave them unattended. Don’t move candles once they are lit or leave them near open windows.

Two… gold… rings…

And finally, if you’ve bought someone an expensive present for Christmas, i.e. a watch or jewellery in excess of your policy value limits you should notify us as soon as possible to ensure these items are correctly insured.

The end of the year is always a good time to check that you have the correct level of cover in place and are not underinsured, especially if you have higher value contents or jewellery. Values of such items have continued to increased – for example, gold, silver and particular watches are now more expensive so please do speak to us if you need need any advice on insurance valuations.